Sound For Film and Video: The Importance of Getting Good Audio
How many times have you sat down to watch a video or budget movie, only to find that the camera work and picture editing is great, but that the sound is so bad it takes your attention away from the picture? You might even stop watching it altogether, or at least turn the sound way down. Watching a TV show, video or film should be a “complete experience,” where the picture and audio combine to produce a meaningful and well balanced whole.
However, it has often been the case that in television, cinema, and especially in amateur or semi-professional productions, that the sound has been seen as secondary to the picture. I don’t believe it should be that way. People will often put up with mediocre picture if the sound is good, but good picture with poor sound may see the ‘off switch” flicked by many viewers. So let’s set about giving a bit of an outline as to how you can go about acheiving good results with your audio.
Royalty Free Music: What is it?
People often see the words “royalty free” bandied round, and they notice the number sites offering royalty-free music, but are confused by what this actually means. My aim here is to give a brief , but hopefully easy to understand explanation as to what the term royalty-free acutually means, and how it’s use can be applied.
“Royalty free” as it applies to music, is the right to use music without having to pay a royalty fee. The use of certain intellectual properties require users to pay a royalty fee to the owner, creator or copyright holder of that property.
Royalty-free does not mean the product is free or public domain, it just means you don’t have to pay royalties.
Royalty free or buyout music, and it’s use is governed by the licensing agreement that you should receive and agree to when you purchase the right to use some specific music. The type of license will determine how the music may be used, whether you can use it in a commercial production or only in a personal or non-commercial production, and what the limitations of use are. License agreements can vary considerably. It always pays to read the fine print.When purchasing a piece of music, you buy the rights to synchronize the song with your productions. The music and it’s copyright will however, always belong to the copyright holder of the product. Generally you pay a one-off fee to purchase the use of the music, and no more additional fees are required. As long as you abide by the conditions of the license agreement you should have no trouble.
Calibration of Audio Playback Levels for Film, TV, Video explained in basic terms
In order to create post production mixes that translate well to consumer systems, calibration of your system’s playback level is important. It is also important to do this if you are creating music that will be passed on to other editors for use in film, TV or video. I intend to give a brief guideline here for calibrating your listening environment in a small to medium sized room, such as an edit suite. The tuning of a room is beyond the scope of this article.
For film work (usually done in larger rooms), a pink noise at reference level should be used to produce a sound pressure level of 85dBC for each of the front channels. Taking readings for left, right and center speakers. For surround speakers, a lower reading of 82dBC is used. Generally -20dBFS is used as the “0” VU reference level point.
For television and video work, which is often done in smaller rooms, a lower reference level is used. This is most often done at 79dBC for each of the speakers in a smaller edit suite room. In mid sized rooms such as pre-mix rooms this level is often set a bit higher, for example 82dBC.
The September site update has over a hundred new SFX of various types, including a number of footsteps recorded on different surfaces, and some new Royalty-free music. We have also added some free stuff for the first time. This is comprised of 50 free SFX, and a small number of “Public Domain” songs for download.
Rocksure Soundz composer Tony Koretz has had his studio featured this week at http://composerstudios.com. The article gives a brief outline of his equipment and thoughts on it’s use. It’s worth a read if you are interested to know a bit about Tony’s studio. Much of his work can be found here at the Rocksure Soundz website.
We have just added a few new songs to the site, which as usual can be found at http://rocksuresoundz.com/store/new-production-music/ and also quite a few new SFX, including a bunch of weather sounds such as thunder, hail, rain, and wind. Also a bunch of short aeroplane buzzes that could be used in a presentation where a map is shown of flight paths for example. The new sound effects can be found at http://rocksuresoundz.com/store/new-sound-effects/
Membership now starts at just $59. Check out other membership prices http://rocksuresoundz.com/membership/.
We just added 21 new royalty-free songs and 101 new sound effects to the website for July. Music contributed this month by Tony Koretz, Dylan Lee & Ross McDermott. Check the new songs out at http://rocksuresoundz.com/store/new-production-music/. The latest sound effects additions can be found at http://rocksuresoundz.com/store/new-sound-effects/. There are also a small number of new jingles and stings. Don’t forget to sign up for our monthly newsletter if you wish to be informed of new products, specials and other news.
This month, the homepage has had a facelift, and includes a Facebook “Like” button at the bottom of the page, as well as a newsletter mailing list signup form. If you’d like to be informed monthly of our product updates and specials, then you may like to consider signing up for the newsletter email. Also, If you wish to tick the “Like” button too that would be greatly appreciated, because it helps us know that the site is progessing in the right direction.
We have added 21 new songs, 5 music jingles (30sec), and 50 new sound effects to the site for the month of June. There are 18 new songs by Tony Koretz, 2 by Dylan Lee, and also we welcome the first song by female artist and composer Ruby. Until now we have had 90 sec previews available for each song. We have decided in future to have full song length previews, so beginning this month all new songs will have the longer preview format. These new songs can be heard at the new production music page, while the new sound effects can be previewed at the new sound-effects page. The new sound effects include a bunch of pretty cool explosions and bangs. There have been some changes to the pricing format too. For all countries there are no additional tax costs, this includes the price for New Zeland buyers which now is gst inclusive.